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September: The end of the beekeeping season!

Well it doesn’t seem five minutes since I was last sat down to write last months blog. We’ve been busy at lots of shows and markets again this month as well as getting all our bees ready for winter! I’ve also learned this month that there are quite a lot of readers that are either already beekeepers or looking at becoming beekeepers so I will try and make sure my blog goes into enough depth for the beekeepers but explain everything the best I can for new or non-beekeepers.

The Bees

So all of the surplus honey is now off our bees, I’m really quite happy with the amount of honey we have harvested even though we split our hives so much. Splitting a hive is basically taking some of the bees from one hive and putting it in a new one with a new queen, the idea being that you can get more hives this way, the downside is that each time you split a hive you reduce the amount of honey they will be able to produce.

Mite treatments have finished now as well, We use Mite Away Quick Strips as it means we can very quickly kill off the Varroa Mite and if managed correctly does very little damage to the bees.

One of the biggest jobs of this month has been moving all of our bees to one overwintering site. There are lots of advantages to moving to large wintering sites for bees. The main benefit is that they are easier to look after as a group and easier to compare, we also don’t need to be driving around so much and the bees don’t need a certain area of forage as there is limited food around. The only problem is that in March we will be busy again moving the bees back out onto the Oil Seed Rape to start the season off again!

We are nearly finished with feeding our bees for winter. For convenience I have decided to go from a sugar syrup I mix from granulated sugar, water and a small amount of thymol to stop it going moldy to Invertbee. Invertbee is a ready made syrup that the bees take down and store as honey without needing to process it. The main advantage to this is that as the bees can use this syrup without processing it we can leave it on the hives even when it’s cold without worrying about condensation. As we have purchased in bulk and will have more than we need this winter if there are any beekeepers that would like any please get in touch for a price.

Invertbee winter feed for bees

Other News From Us

I have in the past been asked to do various talks to local clubs, associations and schools and so I have launched a new page on this website about what services we can offer. If you are a member of any groups that would be interested in talks about bees please do get in touch, It can be very basic ideal for people with just a general interest in bees up to quite specific and advanced talks for beekeeping groups. You can see that page – HERE

We’ve had a great uptake on our honey room for hire scheme with lots of honey harvested from people all around the midlands, We have now stopped for the winter but it will restart in May and I’m expecting great demand so make sure you book in early!

Australia

So as of course you all read this as soon as you got the notification email (as you’ve all already subscribed.. and those that haven’t will do!) I will be just coming into land at Hong Kong airport before my second flight to Sydney. From Sydney I will be flying north to a place called Coffs Harbor nearly halfway between Sydney and Brisbane. I then have a 1 hour car journey to a town called Kempsey where I will be meeting the rest of the beekeeping team I’m working with.

I will be away working on a bee farm with 1,600 hives from the start of October until mid March when I will fly home to start the beekeeping season off in the UK. So this means that until my April blog the next 6 months of blogs will be about beekeeping in Australia and my experiences (although don’t worry this isn’t turning into a travel blog) I hope to be able to show you all some of the differences between beekeeping in the UK and elsewhere.

If any of you have any questions about my experiences in Australia or in the UK feel free to email me at info@holthallapiary.co.uk and I will reply to you as fast as I can.

Thank you for reading our blog and the next one will be published at the start of November!

Matthew Ingram


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